poster design

Hidden Message in Ad for Children at Risk


A friend of mine posted a video on their Facebook about an ad that really caught my eye because of the deep thought and idea execution of the designers behind it. The ANAR Foundation is a Spanish child-advocacy organization that has an anonymous telephone line for teens and children who are under a risk situation. For the international day against child abuse,
Grey Spain worked with ANAR to design an ad that would be able to target the teens and children, even while they are with the adults or parents that may be their aggressors. The ad was designed using lenticular printing to send different messages to children and adults. The children’s view is only visible to children under ten because of the level of their eye sight. The ad appears plain to the adult view, but in the child view reveals a bruised face. The ad features the hotline’s number as well as the copy, “If somebody hurts you, phone us, and we’ll help you.” I think its an incredibly difficult message to send out to children and teens who are constantly with their aggressor, so targeting them in a way that is so straightforward is risky, yet really needed to reach the children who need help and access to this hotline.

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PETA Uses Temple Student’s Winning Ad

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PETA released a shocking new mobile billboard last week to remind attendees at the 2013 Kentucky Derby that for the horses, racing is a matter of life or death. The ad was placed up and down the streets surrounding the racetrack in the days leading up to and the day of the event. The message drawn across through the ad is to bring awareness to the misuse of both therapeutic and illegal drugs that the industry uses to keep injured and tired horses running for the race. The ad was actually created by Temple University’s Tyler School of Art graphic design student, Dana Mulranen. The poster was created for the 2012 One Show Young Ones Competition and awarded the One Club Bronze Pencil as well as Runner Up in Creative Quarterly 31.

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Doe-Eyed

Design studios are everywhere because design is needed everywhere. It seems obvious, but when looking for jobs and places to live post-grad its a helpful reminder. Especially with the ever-increasing permeance of the Internet, small or rural design studios are able to have a larger and more diverse client base. New York and London are alluring, especially when you’re aiming for an career fast-track position. But there are often overlooked design studios that are just as prestigious as the ones in big cities, while being in the suburbs of less brand-name states means that you have more of a chance to stand out. Take, for example, Doe Eyed. They are a design studio headed by Eric Nyffeler and Michael Nielsen out of Lincoln, Nebraska (I’ve been there–its home to grain elevators painted with huge murals of steak, which is a selling point in itself). Doe Eyed has been around for a while and they consistently churn out beautiful design and illustration. Their client list includes Andrew Bird, the Roots, Iron&Wine, Yeasayer, The Mountain Goats and Superchunk; they’re featured in design books and magazines like the Big Book of Green Design, HOW Magazine, and GigPosters 2011 for their posters but they seem to be open to new mediums and enjoy a challenge. Smaller design studios = more chances to ask questions. Check out some of their work and keep Doe Eyed and places like them in mind; if you like driving, rural living might be a great opportunity to start a career.

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The Roots

Since I’m pretty sure most of the people who read this blog are under 60 and live in the Philadelphia area, I’m going to assume you’ve heard of The Roots. As one of the most influential bands to the funk, neo-soul and hip-hop zeitgeist of the last 10+ years, (I didn’t know it had been that long), The Roots have toured the globe. They regularly preform at sold-out shows, festivals, and events for thousands of people, but having only ever seen them once (at The Roots Picnic 2008 which was like a chilled out block party with a mosh pit instead of a Moon Bounce), it didn’t occur to me to look at them for design inspiration purposes. It should have; the Roots are Philadelphia born and bred and that means one thing: Style.

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Push Me Pull You Designs by Eleanor Grosch

While looking at TLA posters I came across the work of Eleanor Grosch and knew I had to share.  Push Me Pull You Designs, her semi-one-man illustration machine since 2005, does all types of design from greeting cards to apparel as well as branding, product design, and logo design. She makes amazing prints of animals, simplifying them into geometric shapes and colors that are basically just delightful and full of imagination. Her posters are made with the same imagination, but with fantastic typography and use of color added in. Check out some of her work, and then get on her Etsy and pick up some animal-themed stocking stuffers.

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Posters from Philly: TLA

Philadelphia is home to some great venues, (look out for a post on the Troc) but I have to say the Theater of Living Arts is one of my favorites. Located on 4th and South, its been around since the 70’s when it was an actual theater showing grindhouse films; today its a venue for mostly rock and hip-hop acts, although I go there a lot for electro shows as well. Its mid-size (about 1,000 people), easy to get to and home from, (even at 3 in the morning in un-sober states), and ticket prices through LiveNation are usually pretty good. What I like about this venue, and other venues of this size, is that they like to book bands that are just famous enough to be able to afford to pay for good posters. Bands that commission posters from BMOC design studios can play on the same stage as openers who paid a friend of a friend 50$ to make flyers, but both will be good designs. Here are some examples from GigPosters.com:

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An Interview with John Solimine of Spike Press

So, this guy is amazing.

John Solimine is a huge name in illustration and design. With over 12 years in the biz he’s done work for Lollapalooza, the National, Fuse, NPR, the Chicago Tribune, American Express, and Nike, to name a few, (the list goes on and on), and each piece is amazingly dynamic and imaginative. His illustrations seem to tell a story in the blink of an eye; in a recent interview with Design Inspiration he revealed that that is one of the major goals with his work. The ability to evoke a strong emotional response with just a picture seems to be something that’s one part talent and three parts practice, practice, practice. I think 9x the practice = 9x the results, though, so it works out.

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Queens of the Stone Age vs. Andrew Bird

Lets talk for a second about Queens of the Stone Age. Musicians like to present their fans with a full range of experience, (and therefore merch). The band has a sound, the members have a look, and their merch is always carefully designed to a tee whether its clothes, stickers, album art, or my favorite, gig posters. I am not much into Queens of the Stone Age so I never realized this but they are the kind of band that really appreciates art. If you check out their page on gigposters.com they show 23 pages of beautiful poster art for tours and individual shows. If you’ve never heard at least one song by them, they’re a good old fashioned rock band with a fair amount of head-banging etc, and they’ve been around a pretty long time. I think you can see these things in their gig posters; they’ve got a classic aesthetic that is often vibrantly colorful with arresting subject matter. Lots of sex, violence, surreal monsters, and cars: all of these things scream rock ‘n’ roll to me. Its a good example of knowing what your audience is going to notice and want to look at. It is an entirely different aesthetic from, say Andrew Bird.

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Poster Designs by Genre

 

Posters designs depend a lot on their subject matter, and how much information needs to be on them. Inspirational posters, for example, need only have only one word on them, (ie the classic “Conviction” or “Perseverance” posters that hung on the walls of every guidance counselor office from 1960 til today), while tour or movie posters need to have names, dates, times, taglines, and prices on them as well as the title in order to be useful. The more elements to a design, the harder it gets for the poster to be easy to read and arresting. Here are some examples of poster design by genre, and how designers have solved the problem of necessarily text-heavy posters.

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Red Attic Design Studio

I am super excited about these people. A full-service design studio based right outside Philadelphia, Red Attic is the studio that Joe Castro Brevoort created in 2006. In 2007 he quit his day job as the Art Director for the Please Touch Museum to do Red Attic full time and 3 years later he’s won major design awards and worked with many different foundations across Philadelphia, like Habitat For Humanity and Art-Reach, and companies like LiveNation. He was commissioned to do a poster for last week’s Steely Dan show by LiveNation, and its pretty neat; especially his blog post about how he thought of the design. What I can’t figure out is who else works there. I don’t know if they’re hiring or looking for interns, but I make a mean cup of coffee Mr. Brevoort, just saying.

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Eye-catching vs. Eyesore

Sometimes less is more, especially in posters. They have to be interesting, quickly catch the eye of anyone walking past them intent on beating the rush to Starbucks or whatever, but at the same time the person glancing at them has be able to quickly read whatever information is there. Even if there’s a lot of information to cover, it shouldn’t all be jammed together so you can’t read it, (like those 4×6 flyers people pass out for parties on campus. “Neon” style letters are pretty much never the way to go). But there are exceptions to every rule. Here are some examples of what I’d call too much and just right.

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Gina Kelly’s New Poster

 

I love Gina Kelly. All of her art is amazing, but her posters are what drew me in at first glance, (at a tiny thumbnail on gigposters.com, no less). Her prints are imaginative and colorful, filled with impossible animals and scenes that look like they came out of a similar universe as Where the Wild Things Are. She doesn’t make digital posters; all of her art is hand printed on a press using a technique that is detailed on her website and sounds incredibly laborious, (if the phrase “150lb. paper” is anything to go by). Ms. Kelly’s done posters for Andrew Bird, Beirut, and the Arctic Monkeys just to name a few, and her newest poster for Beirut’s recent show in Paris is, frankly, sick as hell. Check out her art, and this short interview she did in 2009 with Tuckshop Community Radio News.

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Event Posters: Tips & Inspiration

Posters are a boundary-crossing type of design. Since the invention of the lithographic press in the 1800’s they’ve  been the art of music and theater; today they’re used to let you know about everything from films to societal protest. To be effective, posters have to do several things effectively: they have to catch your eye and tell you all the important important information quickly. To be great, posters have to stick in your head, (just like with normal advertising).

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